MCIT Online Admissions

The online Master of Computer and Information Technology degree is the only online Ivy League master’s degree in computer science designed for students without a computer science background.

See the program’s Spring 2022 Pandemic Accommodations statement.

Applying for MCIT Online

Upcoming Deadlines

Spring 2022 Admissions

Application Opens: June 1, 2021

Early Application Deadlines Regular Application Deadlines
Application Deadline: August 1, 2021 Application Deadline: October 1, 2021
Decisions Returned On: September 15, 2021 Decisions Returned On: November 2, 2021
Deposit Due for Admitted Students:  

October 15, 2021

Deposit Due for Admitted Students: 

December 1, 2021

Orientation Course Opens: December 6, 2021

First Day of Classes: January 10, 2022


Fall 2021 Admissions

Application Opens: January 6, 2021

Early Application Deadlines Regular Application Deadlines
Application Deadline: March 1, 2021 Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
Decisions Returned On: April 15, 2021 Decisions Returned On: June 15, 2021
Deposit Due for Admitted Students:  

May 15, 2021

Deposit Due for Admitted Students: 

July 15, 2021

Orientation Course Opens: July 19, 2021

First Day of Classes: August 30, 2021


Who Should Apply

MCIT Online is for motivated students with little or no background in computer science who want to launch a rewarding career in the computing industry or use computer science to innovate in their current field.

In order to succeed in this rigorous and accelerated program, students should have both a passion for learning computer science and the ability to dedicate significant time and effort to their studies. Throughout our selective admissions process, we have found that successful applicants typically have a GPA above 3.0.

Admission to MCIT Online is competitive and cohort sizes are limited.

Take our Online Readiness Assessment quiz if you are wondering whether an online program is right for you.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must have obtained a 3 or 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited School or University prior to their intended matriculation date.
  • Current Penn students may apply, but must complete their on-campus degree programs before matriculating into MCIT Online. Current Penn students are advised to apply only after they are certain of their graduation date for their on-campus degree, and can confirm that they will graduate before the matriculation date of MCIT Online. See more information.

Application Requirements

Biographical information (part of the online application)

Your resume should be in English and 1-2 pages in length (5 pages is the maximum).

We are interested in your functional job skills, breadth and depth of experience, demonstrated leadership, and any experiences with online learning. We are more concerned with what you have learned in your positions than we are with the length of time you’ve been in the workplace.

Personal Statement
The personal statement should be a 1000-1500 word essay that answers the questions below. Please provide detailed and specific examples from academia, industry or research when possible.

  • What makes you interested in the MCIT program?
  • How will you benefit from the program?
  • Why will you succeed in the program?
  • How will you contribute to the MCIT community?
  • How do you plan to incorporate an average of 15 hours per week per course of studies into your lifestyle?
  • Please describe your career goals and how the MCIT Online curriculum will help to achieve them.
  • Given that the program is designed for people without a CS background, if you feel that your resume could be perceived as overqualified, please explain why MCIT Online is right for you.

Reapplicants – Please address this additional required question (250 words):

Please discuss any updates to your candidacy since you last applied (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). If after reading our online materials you think your application may have been perceived as overqualified, please explain why MCIT Online is right for you.

Two [2] Official Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation should be written according to the following guidelines:

  • must be written in English
  • Include the writer’s name, title, organization, and email address
  • range anywhere from 500 to 1,500 words
  • Applicants may submit a third optional recommendation

These may be from industry or academia. See more Letters of Recommendation FAQs.

Unofficial Transcripts

  • From every university or college attended where course credit was earned, including transfer credit transcripts
  • Transcripts are to be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Transcripts must be translated to English if necessary
  • Must include all courses taken, credit hours and grades earned
  • Diplomas will not be accepted in lieu of transcripts
  • If the grading is on a scale other than 4.0, please include documentation indicating the scale

If admitted, you will be required to provide official transcripts of all previous academic work to verify the information provided in your uploaded application documents. (Note: Official documents must be translated to English, if applicable, via WES or Educational Perspectives). Offers of admission and matriculation into the program are not binding until academic records are verified. If there are discrepancies between the self-reported academic work and official records, your offer of admission may be withdrawn or you may be removed from the program. Details regarding the process for submitting official transcripts will be sent to admitted students.

$80 non-refundable application fee
This payment must be submitted with the online application.

The GRE/GMAT is optional for the MCIT Online program. Exam results that are submitted with the application will be taken into consideration in the evaluation process and can have a favorable impact.

  • If you want your scores to be considered in your application, we must receive your official test scores by the application deadline. If we don’t receive your official test scores by the deadline, they will not be taken into consideration.
  • Test must have been taken within 5 years of application submission.
  • You can use the following codes in order to send GRE scores to us:
    • Institution Code: 2888 (2926 will also work)
    • Department Code: 1699
    • Major Code: 0402
  • GMAT scores can be submitted with the code G56-1P-16.

All international applicants, non-US Citizens, and non-US Permanent Resident applicants for whom English is not the native language must submit official scores for the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) will not be accepted in place of the TOEFL.

  • We must receive your official TOEFL score directly from ETS by the application deadline.
  • Test must have been taken within 2 years of application submission.
  • A minimum score of 100 is recommended but it is not required.
  • You can use the following codes in order to send TOEFL scores to us:
    • Institution Code: 2888 (2926 will also work)
    • Department Code: 1699
    • Major Code: 78

TOEFL Waiver
This requirement can be waived if the candidate has completed a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree where the medium of instruction at the institution is English, by the time of matriculation. Applicants will have the opportunity to apply for a waiver upon submission of their application.

Due to the volume of applications, we are not able to switch out documents sent via email with the ones that have been submitted with your application.Applications are considered final upon submission. We will only upload additional transcripts that may be required for application evaluation. Please note that all application materials become property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application materials.

Click here for the MCIT Online Printable Application Checklist.

Application Evaluation

Applications are evaluated holistically, as a complete portfolio. An application is considered complete when all of the following materials have been received by our office: unofficial transcripts, personal statement, resume/cv, letters of recommendation and official test scores (if applicable). Applications that are not complete by the early admissions deadline will not receive an admissions decision until the regular deadline.

Completed master’s applications will be promptly evaluated by our admissions committee once each application cycle has ended. Admittance is based on an estimate of the applicant’s ability to successfully complete our graduate program and on the compatibility of student interests with our programs. Admissions is competitive and space in each cohort is limited. Additional information about under and overqualification can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.

When an admissions decision is reached, the applicant will be notified directly through the online application system. Please note that admission decisions cannot be revealed over the telephone. It is the practice of the School of Engineering and Applied Science not to discuss application results with prospective students. We do not reconsider applications, due to the large volume of applicants.

Please also review these insights from our faculty program director regarding eligibility and how to improve your application.


Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for MCIT Online are based upon course units (CUs) with students completing a total of 10 course units during the program.

Rates for Fall 2021 / Spring 2022, per course unit (CU)

Tuition = $2,500 USD per course unit ($25,000 USD Total)

Online Services Fees = $140 USD per course unit ($1,400 USD Total)

*Please be aware that tuition and fees are posted as a guide and may be subject to change.

Students may also be required to purchase textbooks or supplies for a few of the courses in the program.

Tuition will vary depending upon how many course units a student enrolls in each semester. Please see the table below for details.

Number of Course Units Cost
1 Course Unit $2,500 Tuition + $140 Fee ($2,640 Total)
2 Courses Units $5,000 Tuition + $280 Fee ($5,280 Total)
3 Courses Units $7,500 Tuition + $420 Fee ($7,920 Total)
4 Courses Units $10,000 Tuition + $560 Fee ($10,560 Total)

Students will be billed only for the course units they take each semester. If a student needs to take a term off, they won’t be charged during that term.

Financial Aid

Online students who are enrolled at least half-time will be eligible to apply for federal student loans. International students’ eligibility may vary depending upon their international status. Please be mindful of the FAFSA deadlines in relation to the application deadlines. You can find more information here.

Technology Requirements

MCIT Online is an online degree program and it is your responsibility to have and maintain internet access that permits you to receive and transmit information freely for the duration of the program. Penn is not responsible for any inability to access the program due to disruptions in your internet service, whether caused by technical problems, governmental or other third party actions.


University Policies

The Penn Book is the comprehensive source for Penn’s policies and procedures, including information on academics, resources, and student personal conduct and responsibility. As University of Pennsylvania students, MCIT Online students are expected to adhere to these policies. A few of the policies included in The Penn Book are highlighted below:

Program Policies

For a complete listing of policies, see the MCIT Online Graduate Student Handbook.

Faculty assign a letter grade to each student for each course, measuring performance against learning objectives. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.7 to remain in good standing. If you are concerned about your performance in a course, please reach out to the teaching staff right away. Any other questions can be directed to

Students will be automatically refunded for a dropped course if the course is dropped during the first two weeks of the semester. After this add/drop deadline passes, students who wish to drop a course must submit a course withdrawal petition. Such students will receive a grade of W on their transcript and will need to retake the course. Courses that are withdrawn will not receive tuition refunds.

No-show: Students who do not withdraw before the last day of the course, and who did not access the course site or complete any work throughout the course, will receive a grade of GR (or, “Not graded”) on their transcript. They will not receive academic credit and will be responsible for the full cost of the course.

Incomplete: The notation “I”, for Incomplete, may be assigned to the student who has performed well academically all semester, but who, for extenuating reasons, is unable to complete all requirements of the course by the end of the term. The decision to assign the I grade rests with the course instructor. “GR” or “NR” notations indicate no grade was reported by the Instructor. The notation “I”, “GR” or “NR” may remain on the student’s record only until the end of the first month of the semester following the one in which it was given. If the student has not completed his or her work and if the instructor of the course has not submitted a grade by this time, the “I”, “GR” or “NR” notation will be replaced by an “F” grade on the student’s record. A student may not graduate with an uncleared “I”, “GR” or “NR” on his/her record. Students wishing to extend the four-week period may submit a Petition for Action (approved by the instructor) to the Academic Programs Office for approval.

Students will receive support from Penn faculty and staff through Coursera’s discussion forum, Slack and Zoom video sessions. Instructors and TAs will hold weekly office hours via Zoom and TAs will monitor the discussion forum during established hours. The MCIT Online Student Affairs team will be available via email and Zoom to answer questions and refer students to resources provided by the University of Pennsylvania.

Students in the MCIT Online program are considered to be University of Pennsylvania students—enrolled in at least one course for academic credit at a given time—within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Upon graduation, students are considered alumni of the University of Pennsylvania.

MCIT Online is about more than just the curriculum. Students in this program will have access to core services across the University to support their well-being and future career goals. Although MCIT Online students do not study on Penn’s campus, they are considered members of the Penn community. The online student services fee of $136 per course supports career services, the libraries, learning resources, and other services not directly associated with specific courses.

Students who have a concern about an academic matter related to the MCIT Online program should follow the grievance procedure outlined in the Penn Engineering Graduate Student Handbook.

The MCIT Online program is designed as a cohort experience. Continuous study is recommended. A student who wishes to take a leave of absence must submit Leave Of Absence Form. A leave of absence may de-activate the student’s PennKey and PennCard. Contact the MCIT Online Student Affairs Team at for more information.

You may transfer up to two courses taken prior to matriculation at Penn, subject to faculty approval. Please see the Penn Engineering Graduate Student Handbook for further details.

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or 215-898-6993 (Voice).